Cinema has the ability to influence and mobilise emotions like no other medium. It’s not just about entertainment, but is currently the biggest source of soft power in the world. The movie industry today is shaping cultures and influencing civilisations. Powerful cinema can start a revolutionary movement or can cease one. Bharatiya cinema is slowly coming out of the clutches of the Left intelligentsia and has started to portray what Bharat truly is.
Seldom does a movie in Bharatiya cinema present a cinematic experience that not only serves for a splendid viewing but also presents Bharatiya samskriti in its grandest form. The true power of Bharatiya cinema, as well as Bharatiya samskriti, is reflected in a movie like RRR. The title RRR has different abbreviations in different languages. ‘RRR’ means Roudram Ranam Rudhiram in Telugu, ‘Roudra Rana Rudhira’ in Kannada, Rudhiram Ranam Roudhram in Malayalam and Raththam Ranam Rowthiram in Tamil. All of these translate to Rage, War, Blood. However, in its Hindi as well as English releases the abbreviation RRR stands for ‘Rise Roar Revolt’. But the movie is much more than the title. It encapsulates in itself the heart and soul of Bharat.
The story of RRR revolves around the lives of two freedom fighters — Shri Alluri Seetarama Raju and Shri Komaram Bheem. Shri Alluri Seetarama Raju sacrificed his life fighting against the British for tribal rights. He vehemently opposed the Forest Act, 1882 which restricted the traditional agricultural practices of tribals. He also trained the tribals in guerrilla warfare. Because of his heroics he was named “Manyam Veerudu” or the “Hero of Jungle”. Shri Komaram Bheem fought against the draconian tax imposition by the Nizam. He was inspired by Shri Alluri Seetarama Raju and Birsa Munda. He gave the slogan of Jal, Jangal, Jameen (water, forest, land) to fight for tribal rights and oppose the taxes by Nizam.
RRR uses fiction to weave the lives of these two freedom fighters into a single story. Through a single storyline, RRR leaves an indelible impression of the two freedom fighters in the viewers’ memory. Right from character names to weaving of Bharatiya ‘itihasa’ in storyline, the film upholds the sanctity of ‘Deva’ in its most glorified form. The characters of ‘Ram’ and ‘Bheem’ are not just in name but carry in themselves the real virtues of ‘Ram’ and ‘Bheem’ as depicted in Bharatiya itihasa. The spirit of sacrifice for a larger goal of ‘Ram’ and the raw strength and courage of ‘Bheem’ is beautifully depicted through the two characters in the movie.
Similarly, the sacrifice of Mata Sita is beautifully portrayed through the character of Sita in the movie. We can also see the reflection of ‘Hanuman’ in the character of Bheem when he makes the solemn promise of doing everything to make Ram and Sita meet. The movie captures multiple moments of reverence for the character as well as Bharatiya itihasa along the way. The portrayal of the true characters of our ancestors is a visual treat to say the least. The reverence for our ‘Devas’ is depicted in every frame of the movie.
RRR is not just an ordinary freedom fighter movie. Through the two freedom fighters, Shri Alluri Seetarama Raju and Shri Komaram Bheem, the movie has tried to capture the colossal sacrifice made by innumerable freedom fighters to gain our Independence. The same freedom fighters gave up their homes, their families, their love and their land for reclaiming ‘Bharat’. They created the road to freedom through their sweat and blood. The selflessness of Shri Alluri Seetarama Raju and Shri Komaram Bheem makes every Bharatiya to hold his/her head high in pride and reverence.
The character of Ajay Devgn, who plays the father of Shri Alluri Seetarama Raju, depicts the numerous freedom fighters who didn’t care for name, fame, family and loved ones but lived their lives with a single goal of ‘load, aim, shoot’. They sacrificed their lives in service of the nation and for the freedom of their people. The very freedom that we hold so dear today is not a mere consequence of ‘ahimsa’ and ‘non-violence’ but has been snatched from the British by the sacrifice and valour of our ancestors who didn’t hesitate to sacrifice their lives for our freedom. They didn’t hesitate to fight the power of guns through bows and arrows no matter how difficult the odds.
RRR is a tale of many battles that we won beating all the odds. It is a tale of freedom struggle that brings to the fore two freedom fighters who find little to no mention in our history books. It also brings to the fore the countless sacrifices that have been deliberately erased from our memory. The movie invokes in us the spirit of sacrifice for our ‘Desh’ just like our ancestors. The movie invokes in us the courage, valour, selfless service and action for the protection and preservation of our ‘Desh’. It also portrays how our ancestors put ‘Desh’ over everything else.
The movie also exposes the British rule in Bharat. It is spine chilling to see the barbarity inflicted by the British on our fellow Bharatiyas. The Left intellectuals have always tried to whitewash the barbarity and inhuman treatment by the British to Bharatiya people by referring to them as the principal professors who brought civility to Bharat along with multiple resources which they offered. The movie rightly calls out this blatant lie and pictures them for what they were. It also beautifully puts across the power of our traditional medicinal system. The snake bite scene in the movie epitomises how multiple ailments were treated through herbs in ancient Bharat. The movie serves a tight slap to the naysayers of Bharatiya traditional medicine. The glorious heritage of traditional science and medicine of our ‘Desh’ has got its rightful place in the movie.
Proper anatomy of RRR puts across to us how ‘Dharma’ was followed in ancient Bharat. The movie spectacularly depicts how a united society, independent of the caste divide functioned. The movie also silently puts forward how unity of different ‘varnas’ can achieve the most impossible of tasks. The movie depicts that our true strength lies in our unity. The politics of divide et impera have for long kept the society fragmented bringing immeasurable misery to our people.
The movie, though a fictitious tale, puts across to us the true strength created when a ‘Vanvasi’ and a ‘Kshatriya’ join hands to fight for a selfless cause. ‘Dharma’ in Bharat is all about doing our duty without attachment and selfishness. This spirit of selflessness for ‘Dharma’ is one of the main themes of the movie. The movie puts across the main theme through multiple dialogues. One such beautiful dialogue is right at the end of the movie when the character of Shri Komaram Bheem while interacting with the character of Shri Alluri Seetarama Raju tells him he wants nothing but ‘Shiksha’, thereby highlighting how each segment of the society can contribute towards the uplift of the other through sharing of their own skill sets and knowledge system.
RRR also beautifully brings to the fore how ‘Vanvasis’ followed their Dharma and how their lifestyle was in complete sync with nature. The scene where Bheem after capturing a tiger apologises to it saying that it is for a cause, magnificently captures the love for animals and nature in our samskriti. We see divinity in all elements of nature. Also, the movie silently explores the layers of Dharma which puts community over self and nation over community.
The protection and preservation of our nation as the foremost Dharma is also established in the movie through various dialogues and cinematic sequences. Each Bharatiya character in each moment of the movie has been depicted to be selfless following their ‘Dharma’ irrespective of the many obstacles which they faced. The movie is in itself a study on how to follow ‘Dharma’ irrespective of the many societal and moral pressures that we face. The Dharmic worldview is the essence of the movie which creates a riveting cinematic experience.
RRR is a true depiction of how Bharatiya cinema is slowly coming out of its Leftist and colonial hangover. The true stories of our heroes are slowly gaining prominence. The film epitomises ‘tamso ma jyotirgamaya’. It is not just about fire and water, it is not just about Shri Alluri Seetarama Raju and Shri Komaram Bheem, it is not just about our freedom struggle, it is not just about unity of society. RRR in its truest sense is about the re-establishment of Deva, Desh and Dharma in cinema. The film will go a long way in serving as a benchmark for future filmmakers to depict the true samskriti of Bharat around Deva, Desh and Dharma. It breaks away from the clutches of negativity of Bollywood and soars high in story-telling and direction.